Wednesday, September 21, 2005

A perfect Wednesday!

I have a recurring dream that due to one thing or another, I'm going to be late getting to work. It's always a string of incidents too, like a flat tire on one bike, a small family emergency, a broken cable on another bike, and so on. One thing after another gets in the way of me getting out the door and off to work. I hate those dreams, and I had one this morning.

There are mornings that are just plain hard. This was one of them. When I swung my legs out of bed and they already felt sore and heavy, I knew it was going to be a rough day. I awoke a minute or so before the alarm went off. That's happening more often as I get older, and I got up to quiet the alarm before it woke Mary. I didn't want to get up, but like every other morning I've felt like that, I was up and off to work.

Riding felt good. It usually does. I spun along in a smallish gear while my legs loosened up. The sun was just reaching the horizon, traffic was light, and the wind was calm. It was as near a perfect morning as I could imagine.

I took the long route through Mohawk Park, expecting to see some wildlife along the way. By the time I reached the park, I was singing.

A word of caution: My own mother wouldn't sit next to me in church because I sang so badly. I haven't improved with age. The Bible says something about making a 'joyful noise'. I expect anyone within earshot would merely regard it as noise - LOUD noise.

Sure enough, once I entered the park I saw some animals. It was foggy and they were running for their lives at the approach of a bellowing madman! Who knew squirrels could run so fast or that deer could approach low Mach speeds?

Then I inhaled a bug.

I spent the rest of the ride in silence, except for the coughing and spitting all the way to work. My nose was running, making for some good experimentation in snot rocketry.

I desperately wanted a cup of hot coffee. I felt the need at a cellular level. Indeed, some cells were crying out for it, banging at the doors of my consciousness like one of those torch-lit mobs armed with all manner of farm implements in an old Frankenstein movie. The cells were pissed!

But I had to do computer modifications today, and shaky hands are not a good idea when doing a lot of tiny solder joints. Through painful experience, I've found it's better to do the job right the first time rather than have to fix it later. The cells would have to wait. I warmed up the solder station, put on my binocular magnifiers, and started the mod.

My soldering instructor back in tech school worked for NASA at one time. Let's just say he was very, very fussy. I don't have to meet NASA specifications, but the standards here are nearly as high. Those of you who fly commercially benefit from high-reliability soldering, even if it's a PITA for those of us who do it.

Two hundred and forty solder joints later, two hours had crept by. The computer ran OK on the test station, and I settled into my chair with a strong cup of French roast. The cells were grateful.

Life is good!


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